cross that one off the list

I have a ritual. Whenever I start to read one of my magazines, I pull out all the annoying flyers and thick advertisements and get one piece that is the perfect bookmark. Then I read it cover to cover, not skipping anything that I think I will enjoy later because I will inevitably forget about it. However, with Bon Appetit I make an exception. After pulling out all the stupid flyers, I immediately flip to Cooking Life, Molly Wizenberg’s monthly column. Now that our favorite Orangette is busy running Delancey with her husband Brandon I have to get Molly’s musings in any way that I can, preferably quickly. This past month’s article was especially intriguing because it was about how Molly learned to love kale.

I hate kale. Actually, I thought I hated kale. Next summer when my life isn’t consumed by studying for the Bar [I passed by the way, So did Dave :) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] I want to join a CSA which I know will provide me with lots of Kale.  Last week when I was at the market I threw a $2 bunch of kale into my basket with hopes that this recipe would make me learn to love like kale.  Since the recipe also included pasta and parmesan, I knew that we were off to a decent start.

After giving the kale a good rinse, I cut out the tough center rib, then chopped the kale crosswise into 1/2 inch slices.  After spending some time braising with some browned onions and garlic, the kale was tossed with hot pasta and grated parmesan and finished with a healthy squeeze of lemon.  While the recipe didn’t quite change Dave’s aversion to Kale, I loved it.  It will be the perfect weeknight meal when I want something hot and green but don’t feel like making a salad.  Fear kale?  Give this recipe a try because I for one, can’t wait to pick up my next bunch at the market.

Braised Kale with Spaghetti (printable recipe)
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg-Bon Appetit October 2009

1 bunch of kale (lacinato, tuscan, black, dinosaur), large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
6-8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 pound spaghetti
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse kale throughly to remove all grit. Spin dry in a salad spinner.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add sliced garlic and a pinch of kosher salt and cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn. Add kale and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a little water and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until tender but not overdone, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Add cooked spaghetti to kale mixture in dutch oven. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with lots of grated Parmesan cheese and serve. Kale is tasty indeed.

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20 responses to “cross that one off the list

  1. This looks fabulous! I have definitely learned to love kale since joining a CSA a few years ago. Mark, however, is still working on the hearty green love…his major complaint is that when sauteed up on their own, they get cold quickly, and he definitely does not like cold greens. So, served in pasta, soup, risotto, in a wild rice saute, he’ll eat them without complaint as the other stuff keeps the greens warm. But I don’t think he’ll ever crave the hearty greens as I do.

    Congrats on both of you passing the bar!

  2. Kale has grown on me since I joined a CSA. My boyfriend absolutely loves it. He made a kale smoothie with our last batch (pureed with a frozen banana, milk, and orange juice). He couldn’t quite get all of the kale to smoothie consistency, which bothered me but not him. He made a second helping the next morning.

  3. I saw the article and want to make the pasta. Wondering if I can get the kids to eat it – I’ve finally got them eating chard. Hey, way to go on the bar!

  4. congrats on passing the bar! i absolutely love kale. murdo tells me i’m the only person he knows who even eats it. obviously he just doesn’t read enough food blogs. :)

    hey, see you tonight at burt’s place! PIZZA!!!

  5. i too, adore Molly’s writing. I feel as if I’m friends with her… I’m sure a lot of ppl feel the same via her comfortable style. It’s amazing how are tastes can change, glad you gave it another try!

  6. Congrats on passing the bar! That’s great news and I’m sure a huge relief for you guys :) I’ve never tried kale, but will try to remember this recipe if I ever feel the urge to pick it up at the market!

  7. OK, Whitney, this was so well-timed because, thanks to my CSA!, I have a bunch of kale just waiting for me to do something to it. This is perfect. Side note: I could not agree more about Bon Appetit. Molly’s column is the first thing I have to read, too.

  8. This looks amazing! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Kale is growing on me too, I think I need to try this out.

    Congrats on passing the bar!

  10. I don’t need any convincing to love kale, but I made this for dinner last night, and it was great! I left out the cheese and added oven roasted tomatoes and pine nuts. Yummy!

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  12. I am so excited about this post because I have been wanting to try Kale for a while now. On Saturday I even picked up a bunch at the supermarket, but hesitated and put it right back because I didn’t know what to do with it. This week, I’ll get a bunch. Thanks!

  13. dancing kitchen

    Kale is excellent in soup. It adds a dimension that lends depth to the broth. I rinse, fold and freeze kale in freezer bags for winter, so I can add it to soups. I have to confess I’m out already and am madly scrounging for kale suppliers. Glad you found the tastiness of kale.

  14. Thanks everyone! I have another bunch of kale waiting in my salad spinner. YUM.

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  16. we share the same taste! your pictures are beautiful btw :)

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  19. you can have kale without committing to a CSA too. grow it! it doesn’t take much room, so can be grown in a container on your porch or balcony. it is one of the first veggies you can eat in the spring and one of the last still standing in the late fall. (even survives the first few snowfalls!) if you are interested in starting to grow some of your own food, i suggest starting with kale.

  20. Oh yum. I will have to give this a try.

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